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10 million trees to protect waterways/Author Maya Rao

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | May 15, 2018 4:04 AM
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What to look for on Smart Talk Tuesday, May 15, 2018:

Restoring and protecting the streams and rivers that flow into the Chesapeake Bay has been a major part of the Bay cleanup over the past 30 years.  From new sewage treatment plants to controlling runoff from farms and city streets, the Bay is cleaner today that it was in the mid-1980s.  Pennsylvania has made a great deal of progress, but hasn't met all its Chesapeake Bay clean-up goals.

The latest effort toward meeting those goals is the Keystone 10 Million Trees Project which is just what the title says it is -- a project to plant 10 million trees in Pennsylvania by the year 2025. 

Trees act as buffers to soil runoff and produce oxygen.

The focus will be on the Chesapeake Bay Watershed with particular attention paid to five counties -- Lancaster, Cumberland, York, Dauphin and Franklin. Lancaster County has the lowest percentage of forested cover in the state after Philadelphia, Delaware and Montgomery Counties.

To discuss the project on Tuesday's Smart Talk are Harry Campbell, Executive Director of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation in Pennsylvania, which is organizing the tree planting project and Cindy Dunn, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR).

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Harry Campbell and Secretary Cindy Dunn

Also, hydraulic fracturing or fracking has been around for 70 years.  "Fracking" is a technology used to extract natural gas and oil, that lies within a shale rock formation thousands of feet beneath the earth's surface.

The combination of fracking and horizontal drilling has resulted in a boom in domestic oil and gas production. Here in Pennsylvania, natural gas in the Marcellus Shale has made the state one of the nation's largest energy producers. But in states like North Dakota, it's oil that has changed the state's economy and culture.

Journalist Maya Rao is the author of the new book Great American Outpost - Dreamers, Mavericks and the Making of an Oil Frontier that describes her time embedded in the oil fields of North Dakota.  She'll talk about what she observed in North Dakota and if there are comparisons to Pennsylvania on Tuesday's Smart Talk.

Maya Rao appears at Midtown Scholar Bookstore in Harrisburg Thursday at 7 p.m. to discuss the book.

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